HAMILTON, N.Y. — A four-goal flourish by Colgate left visiting Ferris State seeing stars, as the Raiders erased what had been a two-goal deficit to defeat the 12th-ranked Bulldogs 5-3 in Starr Rink on Friday.
With the game tied at 3-3, Raider Kyle Doyle capitalized on a turnover deep in the visitors’ end midway through the third period. Doyle calmly slipped the puck to linemate Kyle Wilson, whose rebound ended up in the back of the net via the stick of Adam Mitchell.
“When the [Bulldog defender] fell in the corner, I picked up the puck and saw Kyle Wilson coming up the boards,” explained Doyle. “I passed it through the D-man’s legs, Wilson took a good shot, and Mitchell chipped in with a big rebound. We feed off of each other. Both of those guys have great scoring instincts, and they both work their tails off.”
Colgate’s (1-0-1) top line contributed three of the team’s five goals, as all three members scored once and Doyle collected three points on the night. Both Wilson and Doyle collected their second straight multi-point games to begin their 2003-04 seasons.
“We’re in the position where we expect that line to do well,” said Colgate interim head coach Stan Moore, who won his first game from behind the Raider bench. “We hope to spread it around a little bit more, but every team seems to have a go-to line, and that line is certainly ours.”
Dave Thomas’ second-period power-play goal began the Colgate comeback, as the junior banged in an ugly rebound goal to cut the Ferris State lead to 2-1. The momentum seemed to shift from that moment on, as the Raiders went on to score two more goals off the sticks of Wilson and Doyle before the Bulldogs could respond.
“Late in the second and throughout the third, I thought Colgate had more jump and they were beating us to all the pucks,” said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. “They deserve credit for playing an inspired second half of the second and third periods.”
Ferris State (1-2-0, 1-1-0 CCHA) tied the game at 3-3 eight minutes into the final frame with a beautiful individual effort by Derrick McIver. Ferris State’s captain drove hard to the net and opened up Colgate netminder Steve Silverthorn’s legs with a deke before sliding the puck through the gap. The hard-earned tally was a reward for the senior, who was one of many Bulldog forwards to create chances on the night.
“I did think we had some decent play out of our forwards tonight,” added Daniels. “Greg Rallo, McIver, and even Matt Rutkowski before he [suffered a groin injury] played extremely well. Overall, though, I thought our defensemen mishandled the puck a bit more than I’d like to see.”
Ferris State cruised through the first half of the game, seeming to drain the life out of the building and the opponent. They were only able to muster a two-goal advantage, though, with notches from Mike Kinnie and Brett Smith, and failed to capitalize on six power-play chances in the game.
“We felt we did some good things in the first five minutes of the first period,” said Moore, “but in the next 15 minutes there was a lot of standing around on our part and a lot of Ferris State being proactive. We probably emerged from that period lucky to be down 2-0.”
Silverthorn kept his team alive until their eventual comeback with inspired play in the second frame. Following a shaky start, the junior made several acrobatic saves en route to an 18-save, winning performance.
“I think it was wonderful that he responded from giving up a couple of early goals that I think he could have had a better opportunity on, especially goal number two,” said Moore. “But he closed the door, did an exceptional job, and we’re very pleased with his job.”
Meanwhile, Bulldog goalie Mike Brown struggled, giving up five goals in 27 shots. The junior had missed a week of practice prior to his start due to the death of his grandfather.
With the rematch Saturday night, Ferris State hopes it can limit the defensive lapses of game one, while Colgate believes it must bring the game it showed in the latter stages of Friday night’s contest.
“Basically we just want to carry our third period into tomorrow night,” concluded Doyle. “We need to play for the full 60 minutes, not just 20.”